Maria Elia knew she wanted to be a chef at the age of four, citing her father’s Cypriot restaurant as a source of inspiration. Her progression through the culinary world after a rigorous apprenticeship began within the kitchens of Stephen Terry at Coast, along with estages at El Bulli, and Arzak in San Sebastian. These experiences proved invaluable for her first head chef position at Delfina in Bermondsey St, a position Maria held for nearly a decade before setting up The Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, a role that garnered her rave reviews, 2AA rosettes, and a Michelin recommendation. Her deceptively simple, multilayered dishes influenced by the cuisine from the Orient to the Occident, has won her many accolades. Maria’s Gourmand award winning second cookbook, Full of Flavour, develops themes expounded in her bestselling debut title, The Modern Vegetarian, where she coaxes the reader to wake their palates with unique flavour combinations.
Her third book, Smashing Plates, Greek ingredients redefined, published in 2013 explores her Greek heritage and passion for Greek produce. It received a special commendation award at the Andre Simons and nominations for book of the year both in the UK the USA.
Maria was the Executive Chef of ‘Jimmys’ restaurant at The Landing, a five star boutique resort California. Here she created a unique fresh and eclectic Greek Californian cuisine, launched in December 2013 to rave reviews.
Now firmly based in London where she writes, cooks, teaches and consults.
Her next project: looking for a space to call her own!